Gulf | Kuwait

Gulf homosexual ban was ‘just a proposal’: Kuwait chief

Possibility of medical checkup rule changes to be presented to GCC members, says Kuwait foreign ministry undersecretary Khalid Al Jarallah

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 15:22 October 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: A senior Kuwaiti official said that the decision to bar homosexual and transgender foreigners from working in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries has not yet been adopted.

“It is a mere proposal that Kuwait will present to fellow GCC members in order to look into the possibility of amending the medical checkup rules for foreigners wishing to work and live in the GCC,” Khalid Al Jarallah, the foreign ministry undersecretary, said.

“The proposal will be debated and it may or may not be accepted. The debate will reflect the keen interest of the GCC countries in human rights taking into consideration the teachings of our religion and international agreements,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Sunday.

The proposal is due to be discussed by the GCC states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — in November.

The Kuwaiti official added that the foreign ministry had not received any official communication related to the statement by Belgium’s foreign ministry about the European Union’s decision to discuss the proposal to bar homosexual and transgender foreigners from working in the GCC countries.

Didier Reynders, Belgium’s foreign minister, on Friday told Al Rai that the European Union would take up the GCC decision to bar homosexual and transgender foreigners “because it is a matter that cannot be ignored since there is a form of discrimination.”

“The European Union will make the right decision on this issue in order to reinforce human rights,” he was quoted as saying.

Reynders told the daily that he would gather further details on the ban proposal from his country’s diplomatic missions in Kuwait and the Gulf.

“Belgium is a pioneer in protecting and reinforcing the fundamental rights of homosexuals, and therefore it cannot ignore any decision or law that fight this category or creates any form of discrimination against them on the basis of sexual orientations,” he said.

In their comments, some bloggers insisted that neither the European Union nor any other entity had the right to impose its perspectives on other countries.

“Europe had its views on hijab (the veil) and behaved as it wished,” Tamam posted on Al Rai site. “They should not tell the rest of the world how to behave.”

Amal said that there should be no hesitation to bar “deviant” people.

However, a blogger calling himself “Softy” said that there should be no laws or decisions against homosexuals.

“Why should you punish a person who does not feel or act virile? Is it a crime? We are human beings and only God can judge us,” he said.

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